How are Cyclones Categorized and How are they Named?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres (TCWC) and Regional Specialised Meteorological Centres (RSMCs) give names to cyclones that originate in all ocean basins worldwide. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) recently released a list of 169 names of future tropical cyclones that will appear in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.

Categorization of Cyclones

There are five TCWCs and six RSMCs worldwide, including the India Meteorological Department (IMD). Based on the greatest sustained wind speed, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has categorized low-pressure systems in the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. You can learn about the different kinds of disturbances and the associated wind speed in the following table:

Type of Disturbance Wind Speed
Low-pressure area Less than 31 km per hour
Depression 31-49 km per hour
Deep depression 50-61 km per hour
Cyclonic storm 62-88 km per hour
Severe cyclonic storm 89-117 km per hour
Severe cyclonic storm 118-167 km per hour
Very severe cyclonic storm 168-221 km per hour
Super cyclonic storm 222 km per hour

Naming of Cyclones

  • Tropical cyclones are typically named following regional regulations.
  • Tropical cyclone names are given alphabetically and alternate between women’s and men’s names in the Atlantic and Southern Hemispheres (the Indian Ocean and South Pacific).
  • Nations adopted a new system of gender-neutral names for tropical cyclones in the northern Indian Ocean in 2000.
  • The names are listed alphabetically by nation.


How are Cyclones Categorized and How are they Named?

The National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS) of the WMO members in a particular region typically suggest the terminology of Cyclones, which is then approved by the appropriate regional tropical cyclone authorities at their annual/biennial meetings.

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